State recommends 6 decades in prison for Pharr man accused of murder

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it will recommend a 60-year prison sentence should a 31-year-old Pharr man be convicted of shooting and killing his roommate more than two years ago, records show.

The announcement came during a hearing for Gregory Alexander Ortega, who is charged with killing 32-year-old Arnulfo Gaitan on March 28, 2018.

Ortega has remained jailed since April 2, 2018, on a combined $1.4 million in bonds on charges of murder, tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair human corpse, tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

State District Judge Luis Singleterry also denied a motion for bond reduction filed by Ortega’s attorney during the Monday hearing, according to court records.

A motive in the case hasn’t been revealed, but a criminal complaint alleges Ortega shot Gaitan in the head sometime between March 28 and 30 in 2018.

The affidavit notes that when “people would walk up to the house he would crack the front door slightly and when asked about the victim he would tell them that the victim was not at home and then closed the door.”

Gaitan’s family told investigators that Ortega portrayed himself as Gaitan’s brother, according to the complaint, which also alleges that Ortega implicated himself in the killing during an interview with Pharr homicide investigators.

According to the homicide affidavit, Ortega told detectives that after the shooting he “got scared and hid the body and began to clean up evidence in the house.”

The shooting happened at a residence in the 100 block of Tulip Drive.